Here is an outdoor art museum where nature and sculptures resonate off each other, as a single sculptor continues his creative work even today.
The city of Bibai once flourished as Hokkaido’s foremost coal mining metropolis. The lights in the last coal mine went out in July, 1972 and a hush fell over the streets of the coal miners’ homes, schools closing for lack of children.
Later, as a certain native of Bibai, one Yasuda Kan, continued his prodigious efforts in Italy, it came time for him to look for a studio workshop in Japan. He came across the former Sakae Elementary School. The nostalgic remembrances of the children remained in the very wood of the dilapidated frame of the old school building. And then, he was smitten with the sight of kindergarteners commuting to an annex of the old school building.
He watched the innocent play of the kindergarteners, they unaware of how time was trifling with the history around them, this thought came to him.
“Let’s make an open area that children can open their hearts to!” And that’s how Arte Piazza Bibai all got started.
The first work of art to be savored with nature
“Arte Piazza” means “Art Plaza” in Italian. It opened in July, 1992.
They repaired the abandoned grade school and its gymnasium, keeping them almost the same as their original forms, giving a new birth to 70,000 square meters (17.3 acres) of grounds and wooded area. More than 40 items are on display outdoors and in the buildings.
Each of the four seasons change the charm of the place, exploring for, suggesting new ways that nature, people and art can live together, offering visitors the time and space to look deeply into their own hearts. This is precisely what communicates the essence of art.
Discovering Unawares Who You Really Are
Various exhibitions, concerts, lectures, events of all types are held. Among these is an event held on the first weekend of every month, a lesson entitled “Sculpt Your Heart.” This is an invaluable experience using Italian marble and other materials in which you can learn how to put your “heart,” the very essence of your inner self, into solid form. People come from all over Hokkaido and beyond, and these classes are occasionally led by Yasuda Kan himself.
Nestled in among all this nature and art is the Caffé Arte, a place to relax and enjoy coffee ground and brewed on the spot, or other drinks and a light menu.
Once you see this place, you’ll want to return again and again.You’ll see right away why it’s so many people’s favorite place.
Yasuda Kan Sculpture Museum ARTE PIAZZA BIBAI
Address Bibai City Ochomachi-choji-cho
URL Yasuda Kan Sculpture Museum ARTE PIAZZA BIBAI Official website